Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The house that Papi built

She ain't singing yet

Holy crap. I don't know how much more of this I can take. If I didn't have a heart condition before this series started, I have one now. The Sox drop three in a row, and then comeback in the next two games that give "extra innings" a whole new meaning. Which reminds me, if games routinely take 4.5 hours to finish, maybe it's time for my shot clock idea to finally be taken seriously (just a thought). But as my friend Mike pointed out, "it's hard to have games finish in three hours when there are so many crappy pitchers." Fair enough.

Anyway, this self-proclaimed team of idiots is apparently too dumb to die, and now our best pitcher (or worst nightmare) will go in game 6. I say "nightmare" because I pointed out after the game 1 injury that I would be more surprised to see Bellhorn hit for the cycle than to see Schilling pitch again in this series after the ankle injury. I'm still waiting for the cycle.

Speaking of Bellhorn, I thought it was pretty funny last night how McCarver and Buck were relegated to giving Bellhorn props for making contact during his first two at bats. It reminded me of little league, when making contact was really all that mattered. Of course Bellhorn went on to get two hits (one of which was a direct consequence of him not being able to bunt), and the fact that they were sandwiched around 12 strikeouts are just frivolous details.

One last thing on Bellhorn. Every time I see him, all I can think about is the movie "Parenthood." In it, Kevin, the 12-yr. old kid with emotional problems also happens to play on a little league team coached by his old man, Steve Martin. At one point in the movie, Kevin drops an easy pop fly that directly results in a loss and one of the parents (Clint Howard), can only yell, "He had no business being out there! No business!" Well, this little aside is a long-winded way of telling you how I feel about Bellhorn, but I digress...

Enough with the negativity, there were so many gutty performances in this game, that I can't be distracted by the little things. First things first, Pedro has been pretty solid this series. He made a mistake to Bernie Williams in the second inning, was unlucky when he faced Jeter (honestly, is there anyone on the planet that thought Jeter wasn't getting a hit with the bases loaded?), and even overcame more bone-headed decision-making by the manager to keep the Sox in this game.

For the second straight game, Keith Foulke was outstanding. And more amazingly, the human pitching machines -- Embree and Myers -- actually got people out -- without giving up runs! And maybe the biggest surprise of the game was Brandon Arroyo (or Bronson, depending on whether you're Tim McCarver or not; I think the reason McCarver kept misreading his name was because he couldn't see his game notes with his nose so far up Darren Jeter's ass) and how he was able to rebound from that game 3 drubbing.

Still despite all of this, Papi Ortiz should get most of the props. He single-handedly won games 4 and 5, and in a game I was convinced might never end, Ortiz did his best Luis Gonzalez to Loaiza's Mariano Rivera. By the way, Loaiza picked a fine time to have his best game as a Yankee. Where was that 8.50 ERA everyone kept talking about?

And I have to mention Tim Wakefield. This guy has some cajones. Did anybody else have a 2003 ALCS Game 7 flashback every time Wakefield trotted back out to the mound. This thought was in the back of my head -- OK, it was front and center -- for every one of his pitches. The only thing that kept me preoccupied was watching Varitek trying to hold onto the knuckleball. He looked like he was trying to catch butterflies blinfolded and barehanded. At one point, I was yelling at him to just stand at the backstop and pick up the ball after it stopped rolling (apparently, he can't hear me through the TV). So while I was just waiting for the next Aaron F. Boone to end Boston's season, I got a pleasant surprise; that guy actually turned out to be Papi F. Ortiz, and as luck would have it, he plays for the Red Sox.

I think that Ben Crenshaw fellow was on to something. Here's to hoping those "Back to the Future II" Curt Schilling high tops are all they're cracked up to be.